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The News Hound's Guide to Printing Newspapers

Updated: Aug 27, 2018

Digital printing is the cheapest and quickest way to produce a newspaper! 

Océ Jetstream Colour Printer
Océ Jetstream Colour Printer

NewsHound were the first company in the world to print newspapers using high speed inkjet technology. So if you’ve had a newspaper digitally printed, it’s more than likely we actually printed it for you. We use the an Oce Jetstream inkjet machine to print all of our newspapers. It's by far our most popular method of printing newspapers. It prints on standard newsprint grades so your finished newspaper products actually look and feel identical to the their traditionally printed stable mates. 

It is the fastest and most responsive method of printing, with most digital newspapers being delivered in 2-5 working days in the UK. We can print hundreds of copies digitally and we can also produce them same day for you but only on application…just email or pick up the phone and if it’s physically possible we’ll get it sorted.

What to expect with digital printing on Newsprint

Remember, digital newspaper printing is an industrial process, designed to be fast and economical.

  • Sometimes the colours won’t look as bright and vibrant as they do on screen and in some cases compared to when you print traditionally.

  • Newsprint is an absorbent and fairly low grade of paper. It’s an off-white colour and is not as bright as the copier paper that we are all familiar with.

  • Inkjet ink manufacture has focused on lessening the impact this method of printing has on the environment by introducing water soluble pigments that aren’t as dense as the oily inks used in Traditional printing so it’s not possible to print a true deep black. So for example large areas or panels of black will look more like a dark grey when printed.

  • Digital printing uses inkjet technology, and there may be some microscopic fine lines or stripes visible on your newspaper, these can be more noticeable over large areas of flat colour but aren’t apparent for normal designs.

We’re sure that you’ll be pleased with the results but to help things along we’ve popped a few obvious pointers below that should help.

What about colour…how does it work?

We use a four colour process when printing either digitally or traditionally. So if you have any special colours in your file our automatic file conversion will convert them to an enhanced CMYK format. We apply a specially formulated setting on the machine that will optimise your PDF’s to give the best quality possible. Due to the nature of printing from an inkjet onto Newsprint achieving an exact reproduction is virtually impossible. Obviously what you see on a monitor will look very different to the printed copy. It will look flatter and less vibrant. So whatever setting you export your PDF to we apply our own optimised printer settings in order to achieve a standardised result.

What about images and photos?

Due to the fact that newsprint is porous we struggle to keep detail in the shadow areas of images “open”. They tend to “fill in” so where ever possible use nice crisp images which have plenty of contrast. As most of you will be aware of you need to try to use images at the highest possible resolution…..anything over 150dpi will produce the best results…images from digital cameras will easily achieve this level of quality, but be careful if you use images downloaded from the internet…they are sometime tiny 72dpi images which, in some cases will give you poor results.

Laying out your newspaper

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, newsprint is notoriously thin and is susceptible to “show through”, this is where you might be able to see the faint outline of a dark image printed on the other side of the paper so when designing your newspaper try to consider this. We recommend using at least a minimum 8pt font and try to not use fonts less than 12pt for white text reversing out of pictures or coloured backgrounds. We do not require crop marks on the PDF’s that you send us, so please export your PDF to the exact size on the supplied Newspaper Template selecting profile PDF/X-1a:200if possible.

Please supply your newspaper PDF selecting “Single Pages” rather than “Spreads”.

Remember these are just some basic guidelines, if you have a more specific question please drop us a mail (…or call us!

NewsHound Guide to Traditional Printing

When you want to print 1000’s of copies Traditional is the route to take

Traditionally printed newspapers are printed using a method called Cold Set Litho Printing. They use huge machines that are sometimes 2 stories high and as long as a football pitch!

Brilliantly cost effective for printing upward of 1000 copies Traditional newspaper printing is great however it’s less responsive in terms of turnaround times than when printing digitally.

How does Litho Printing work?

Just like Digital newspaper printing Litho uses the 4 colour CMYK process, however it applies the image to the paper using the Offset process which utilises anodised light sensitive aluminium printing plates and oil based inks. This is where the process slows down, unlike with digital printing where you can literally just send the PDF to print you have to go through a lengthy “pre press” process to make the plates, but when the plates are made these machines are super fast.

Traditional printing is what you would choose if you wanted thousands of copies or where your project wasn’t as time sensitive, this is the printing method that all of the major daily National publications use to print their newspapers.

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